E.F. (Al) Harloff, 83, a retired publicity officer with the Metropolitan Washington Board of Trade, died of cancer Saturday at the Manor Care nursing home in Arlington.

In 1960, Mr. Harloff joined the Convention and Visitors Bureau of the Board of Trade as an assistant to the executive director. He retired in 1968.

A native of Toledo, Ohio, he came to the Washington area in 1937 to work in public relations.

During World War II, he worked for the Office of Emergency Management to promote the need for housing for defense workers throughout the country. He also was deputy manager of the D.C. War Finance Committee in charge of public relations and special events.

After the war Mr. Harloff served as public relations officer for the D.C. Veterans Housing Committee and worked in public relations in Columbus, Ohio.

He returned to this area in 1948, and worked as a publicity director for the D.C. National Guard Armory. From 1950 to 1960, he was managing director of the National Capital Flower and Garden Show, which he helped to organize.

Mr. Harloff, who lived in Arlington, headed the 1955 fund drive for the Muscular Dystrophy Association in this area.

He was a life member of the Barton Smith chapter of the Masons in Toledo and a member of Kiwanis International.

Survivors include his wife, Ruth, of the home; two sons, William C., the Mayland real estate commissioner, and Michael G. Condatore, of Arlington; a daughter, June Mininger, and a sister, Betty, both of Toledo; seven grandchildren and four great-grand children.